Cotter Hockey: back after 40 years


Cotter Hockey

Wes Kohner and teammates celebrate after he scored a goal at a home game

A view from the stands as Cotter lines up for a face-off at Bud King Arena (Lexi Danielson)

Cotter Hockey played its first home game in 40 years, hosting  a La Crosse  area  team  at Bud King Arena


Ashur Rouleau, a senior defenseman who has been in hockey for two years, led the team onto the ice in front of a strong crowd, which included some players from the 1980 team.

“After the first home game,” Rouleau said, “I think it was clear that we had made an immense amount of progress from last year and the scrimmages we had. There is a lot of improvement to make but overall we have come together as a team and continue to work towards success every day.”

“As a player on the first team for Cotter I think that it definitely means something more than just playing another sport, considering we are in the state of hockey and are a brand new varsity program with a lot of people to stand behind us.” – Rouleau

While there are lots of ‘firsts’ with this new team, there are also ‘bests’ in the group. Noah Lange, a junior who has been played hockey since 5th grade agreed. “The best parts were meeting new kids and team dinners, ” Lange said.

Aaron Romance, a sophomore from Texas who has been in hockey for seven years, appreciated the team dinners with the boys, along with bonding during practice and while playing video games.

Cotter sophomore Aaron Romance preps for a faceoff at a recent home game. (Lexi Danielson)

One challenge the team is facing is the shortage of players, Cotter only has 12 boys on the team, with there being a maximum of 20 kids suiting up for high school games, Cotter is definitely lacking in numbers. Rouleau mentioned that the team still had opportunities to expand in numbers in coming years. With Lange said  that  the team has struggled in games is due to the numbers.

“We are a young program with a bright future,” Romance said.

“I think it will really start to grow when we get more players in the future,” Lange said. The team is hoping they can work through early growing pains and set a foundation for a successful tradition.


Timeout taken by the Ramblers to discuss game strategy (courtesy Cotter Hockey website gallery)

As the season is coming to an end, there will be eight possible games left, with up to five conference home games.  COVID and the team’s available numbers have been wreaking havoc on the schedule.

The 2022 hockey season has continued to be affected by COVID upsurge, with three canceled games and four postponed at this time. Cotter has played scrimmages where the group can show off their skills on the ice.

Cotter players celebrate after a goal at a home game (Cotter hockey gallery)

There are three coaches, Martin Raymond, the head coach, Bob Anacabe, the assistant coach and the power play coach and the second assistant coach is Don Cada, who is the penalty kill coach. Cada is a Cotter Schools graduate, who got to be a part of both the Winona Youth Hockey and the Cotter/WSHS hockey program. Cada also coached for St. Mary’s, Winona Area Youth Hockey, and other off season camps. – the Cotter hockey website